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Community says goodbye to Saige Borden at Mass

May 18, 2017
By ANTONIO OLIVERO - Staff Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - Hundreds of family members, friends and community residents packed St. Agnes Catholic Church Tuesday, May 16 to say goodbye to Saige Borden.

She was remembered as a compassionate free spirit, always up for adventure with "an enormous smile as big as all outdoors."

The Rev. John Yonkovig officiated the Mass of Christian burial, during which he provided a 12-minute eulogy relaying how the sad news of the 20-year-old's sudden death shook the people of Lake Placid.

Article Photos

Family, friends and members of the Lake Placid community congregate outside St. Agnes Church Tuesday, May 16 following the Mass of Christian burial for Saige Borden, who died in a canoeing accident May 12.
(News photo — Antonio Olivero)

"We know that family and friends were key ingredients in Saige's life," Yonkovig said, "and certainly in (her family's) life. So we want you to know all of us who are here today - and so many more who were with you yesterday (at calling hours) - we want you all to know that we are going through this with you, that we are exceptionally grateful for your family and for your friendship, and it is together as a community that we go through this dark valley."

Borden was born and raised in Lake Placid and was baptized at St. Agnes two decades ago.

Yonkovig went on to speak about Borden's mystique. He spoke of her as someone who never lost the capacity to surprise friends and family and to "fill the gift of life with love.

"As we all know, she did march to her own drum," Yonkovig said. "She was a free spirit. Life was an adventure, a gift to be explored.

"So the poetic insight that some people come into our lives and quickly go," he added, "some people move our souls to dance, some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon, they stay in our lives for a while and leave footprints on our hearts; we are never, ever the same - that piece of poetry speaks well of Saige."

Yonkovig then urged those in attendance not to ponder what-ifs.

"Despite the darkness of this tragedy, our faith teaches us that the destination God has in store for Saige is just that: radiant and eternal youth in the kingdom of God's love," he said.

"Saige crammed a great deal of living into her 20 short years of life," he added. "She taught all of us to be more accepting, more loving, less judgmental, more compassionate."

Following the ceremony of the Eucharist, an original rendition of Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven" was played on the church's piano.

Borden died on Friday, May 12 of an apparent drowning accident after a canoe she was in capsized early that morning on Lake Placid.

A graduate of Lake Placid High School's Class of 2015, she was the daughter of Robert and Suzanne (Butler) Borden.

She also attended classes at North Country Community College and had a passion for the restaurant industry. She and her father were in the process of opening Lobster Reef restaurant on Main Street in Lake Placid.

Borden is survived by her parents and brother Remi Borden of Lake Placid, as well as her maternal grandparents, Ronald and Jeannine Butler of Lake Placid, and many aunts, uncles and cousins.



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